I'm not sure exactly what papers need to be filed for A-Rod to officially opt out of the final three years of his contract, but as the details of his behavior over the past 24 hours or so leak out, I'm willing to file them for him and get this chapter over with. Here are a couple of different stories
on the matter, check out the litany of asshole moves below.
- Hal and Hank Steinbrenner both personally called A-Rod. He returned neither call.
- The only communication between Boras/A-Rod to Brian Cashman was a text message with an attachment.
- The stated reason for opting out was the uncertainty over the future of the Yankees, yet his agent said he'd love for the Yankees to bid on him once he's a free agent. Make up your mind. If you don't want to be here, fine. Just say it.
- A-Rod refuses to show up for game four of the WS to receive an award from Hank Aaron, then upstages the game by announcing he was going to opt out in the middle of it.
- A-Rod retreats to his fortress of solitude, lets his demon-spawn agent do his dirty work. I highly doubt we'll see him in person for some time. He's probably holed up with some manly stripper in Toronto.
- Then, there's always this quote from A-Rod, about a month ago: "This feels like home. It’s hard to believe that I played for another two organizations. So much has happened to me here – adversity, some success – that I feel like anything but New York feels weird for me now.”
So there you have it. The Alex Rodriguez Era in New York officially comes to a close. His legacy in pinstripes?
- 2004 - The Yankees squander a 3-0 lead to the Red Sox in the A.L.C.S., the worst collapse in the history of the game.
- 2005 - The Yankees lose in the first round the Angels.
- 2006 - The Yankees lose in the first round to the Tigers.
- 2007 - The Yankees lose in the first round to the Indians.
So, let's say you're Brian Cashman and you suddenly have roughly $250 million to spend over the next eight years, what would you do? First of all, you aren't going to replace A-Rod's regular season production with one guy, that's impossible. You may be able to trade for Miguel Cabrera, but it's going to cost you more than money and trading away prospects is not the route you want to take. The answer is to look back to the dynasty and realize that you don't need A-Rod, or anyone else of his ilk. You go out and you find a solid defensive third baseman, then you find an upgrade at first base, and then you sit on that money. This year's free agent crop is sorely lacking, you don't spend the money on Andruw Jones, he's done. Ditto, Torii Hunter.
In fact, the only free agent bidding war you should get in the middle of is that of Alex Rodriguez. Yes, the Yankees should absolutely be involved. In fact, they should set the bar as high as possible. Hank Steinbrenner should come out today and say we will pay Alex Rodriguez $360 million for 12 years. They shouldn't sign him, but they should drive the price up so high that whoever does eventually sign him will be completely hamstrung for the next decade. A-Rod wants to be a team of 1 + 24, so make it happen. Removing themselves from the bidding war will only benefit the team that actually does sign him, and after all, this is a business. It makes financial sense to make whatever team lands him pay a king's ransom.My Last Thought On A-Rod
I've heard him called a mercenary, and an egomaniac. This isn't news, and it's probably true, but to be honest this decision didn't come down to money. A-Rod never even found out what the Yankees were willing to offer him. It may turn out that on the open market he won't get what the Yanks were willing to give him in an extension, and honestly, it doesn't matter to him. He made his decision in the offseason, he was not going to be on the Yankees beyond 2007. He didn't like getting booed, he didn't like batting 8th in the playoffs (in 2006), he didn't like the press tearing his personal life apart. In a nutshell, he couldn't hack it. He played like he had no pressure on him in 2007 because he didn't. He was no longer playing for the Yankees, he was playing for himself. Nothing makes him more comfortable than thinking about no one but himself.